Elon Musk respects the decree of Twitter’s users, apparently. Musk on Tuesday tweeted that he would step down as head of Twitter once he finds a suitable replacement. It follows a poll the Tesla CEO and Twitter owner posted Sunday in which he asked users whether he should step down as head of Twitter. Over 57% voted in favor of Musk stepping down.
“I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job!” Musk tweeted on Tuesday. “After that, I will just run the software and servers teams.”
I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job! After that, I will just run the software & servers teams.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 21, 2022
Over 17.5 million people voted in Musk’s poll. Twitter as a whole had about 238 million daily users at the end of June.
The billionaire, who also is the head of car maker Tesla and rocket maker Space X, has a history of reversing decisions soon after announcing or implementing them.
The abrupt resignation from the beleaguered social network comes nearly two months after Musk’s takeover. Under his leadership, Twitter has faced massive layoffs, lawsuits from former employees, a pullback in spending from advertisers, abrupt policy changes and international outrage after suspending journalists, and other high-profile users. Before Musk closed the deal to buy Twitter in October, he was reportedly only planning to be CEO for a few months before handing over the reins.
Musk’s time as Twitter’s head has thus far been punctuated with new policies that spark a backlash among the platforms users and advertisers. In October, Twitter briefly launched a feature that allowed users to pay $8 to earn a “blue check” verification. It was quickly taken advantage of by trolls, who setup accounts impersonating companies like Nintendo and Coke. In perhaps the most famous example, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co. saw its stock plummet after a fake account tweeted “We are excited to announce insulin is free now.”
Musk followed that up last week by suspending accounts for reporters from publications that had been critically covering his leadership, including The Washington Post, The New York Times and CNN. Twitter also suspended over two dozen accounts on the site that used publicly available flight information to track the location of private jets. Musk accused the account of providing “assassination coordinates” by tracking his private jet’s movements and linked it to an alleged stalking incident that happened in Los Angeles. The Washington Post reported Sunday that the police had not determined a link.
Following a series of dramatic policy changes, for which Musk appeared to apologize Sunday, he promised there would be a vote for all major changes going forward.